LNB Q&A: Josh

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In what part of town do you live?
Right across from Dadeland in the Metropolis building.

How long have you been in the area?
I’ve been down here 15 years.

Where are you originally from and what brought you to town?
I’m from Livingston, New Jersey. I went to culinary school in Manhattan and then worked at the Gramercy Tavern, and then opened Spice Market. I was working at these amazing places in New York but it was a grind. And, it was November. I had a friend who lived down in Miami and I saw that cold creeping up around the corner and just thought, maybe this is a good time to make a move. I called him up and said I wanted a change in scenery, ‘can I stay with you until I get settled? And he said, ‘I’ll see you tomorrow.’.

What did you do when you got to town?
I ended up with two interviews. I was either going to work at Azul or Nobu. Nobu had always been that Mount Rushmore of places for me to work. It was a four block walk from where I was living at the time and I spent the next four years with them.

What was working at Nobu like?
I walked in as a line cook right before Art Basel and I got absolutely crushed my first two nights. And then the sous chef left for vacation and turned to me and said, ‘the station is yours.’ Learning by fire was absolutely awesome. I started as a line cook and then I became a roundsman and I learned all the stations, then became junior sous, and then ended up spending a month at Nobu 57 in New York, and then I was promoted to executive sous chef for the new one in Los Angeles. I did all of my major management training with Nobu. The experience was amazing.

Could you teach us how to make Nobu’s Black Cod dish at home?
The secret is in the Den Miso sauce. To make something similar you will need a few ingredients. Take some white miso paste and thin it out with some water and little bit of sake and a touch of sugar and mirin. Cook this all together to create a sauce, cool it down, and that’s what you use to marinate your black cod. It could be sea bass or any thicker fish. Marinate it for a couple of days. And then as soon as you’re ready to go, put it on the grill or a nonstick pan, and cook it until it’s done. Make sure that you have some caramelization to create that fantastic flavor.

From Nobu, where did you go?
After working with Nobu, I was finally ready to take the next step to put my touches and my cuisine forward. I took that first step at a restaurant called Symcha’s, on South Beach, right across from Joe’s stone crab. Like a lot of the restaurants down there, it wasn’t long lived. From there, I went to work as the executive chef at Milos on South Beach. They are an amazing company with a fantastic owner named Costas. One of the things I love most about working with food is sourcing products and finding the best of everything around. Whether it was working with farms down here or finding new sources for seafood, it was a phenomenal experience. I was there for three years.

What did you learn at Milos?
Some of the recipes were written and some of them were not. I asked Costas why there was no recipe for his tomato sauce. And, his answer was because every tomato is different. You can’t rely on just a recipe. You have to understand what the final product is supposed to taste like and then finish it with as much or little salt and pepper and oil and acid as you need to get it there. I thought that that was spectacular.

Interesting lesson. What lessons stuck with you from working at Nobu?
The power of consistency and the power of brand recognition. The vibe in a restaurant is all about creating experiences and having goosebumps every time you walk in because you have a feeling.

What about from Jean-Georges’s Spice Market?
I was a kid at that point. I learned about the different components each dish should bring. I learned to pull out a salt, an acid, a crunch, and a savoriness in every dish. This is something I think about every time, even if I’m just doing something at home for myself.

And now you are doing restaurant consulting putting these lessons together, would you share how that came about?
At some point, I got to a point where I wanted to do more than just cook. I have found my niche doing what I really enjoy, which is not only being involved in food, but understanding the business, training people, and putting all these things together to help others out. It’s professional problem solving.

What types of things are you doing for clients?
There is digging into the food and menu, sourcing products, and trying to find efficiencies along the way. We do team building exercises to increase communication between the front and back of house. And, there’s so many things that are involved in every single dish to make sure that you can get it to the customer on time. When you create a dish, a lot of times you’re not thinking about the cost or the mechanics of how that dish will actually be put together on the line during service. If you’re not going to be able to get it out during service then no one’s going to be sitting in your dining room.

How often do you come to the Pinecrest Market?
Three out of four Sundays a month.

What’s your ritual when you come?
First thing we do is go straight to LNB and check out exactly how long the line is, but it doesn’t really matter because we’re going to wait as long as we need to. We don’t do anything until my boys and I have our rainbows smoothies in hand.

And from there, where do you go?
We’ll walk around and pick out some produce. The boys will go play with their friends at the community center. It’s hysterical, my boys run into more people than I do. If we’re there early enough, we’ll do lunch – either a pizza or ninja noodles. It’s an incredible community environment, it’s chill, it’s relaxed, and it’s fun. We always leave satisfied and full.

What could make the market better?
When it’s hot out, misting fans would be pretty cool.

What’s your favorite part about the market?
Being in hospitality, I love that it’s so busy. I think the lines at your booth are amazing. It’s fun for me to see both sides of the equation. I walk around and see the way that all the vendors are working their butts off and I appreciate what they’re doing.

What restaurants do you like to go with your kids?
There’s nothing my boys don’t eat. Give them salmon, octopus, crab, steak, short rib, 20 different vegetables, they are fantastic eaters. Every night it’s all about protein and vegetables and healthy fruit for dessert. For restaurants, my favorite is Matsuri. We also love Ghee. During lunch, I always get the special.

Where might you go for a special occasion?
Milos is always amazing. Recently, I tried Jardinier which was really cool.

What is a worthy splurge?
Anything fun for my boys.

What’s a fun rainy day activity?

Where’s the most romantic spot in Miami?
Sitting outside at Juvia is really awesome.

What community groups or events are important to you that you might like to share?
Taste of the Nation – No kid hungry is a great event and a great cause.

Is there a pitch about your business that you might like to share?
If you have anything to do with hospitality and are looking for a sounding board or have questions in growing a business and becoming more efficient, hit me up.

What question would you like to ask us?
When was the last time that you had a different color in your rainbow smoothie?

(A+W) We recently changed the yellow and red. As the fruit seasons change, we create new flavors and combinations. The new BB Rose is a brighter red, almost fuchsia, and looks so good in the rainbow. Adena is also a trained chef and works to create balanced and interesting flavors. But, like tomatoes, every fruit is different and she can adjust the recipe on the fly.

What question or challenge would you like to pose to our community?
Think locally. We live in such a fertile area, there are just lots of natural products around us to consume and we should take advantage of what we have. Right now is a prime time to eat well. For parents, do not to be afraid to introduce different fruits, vegetables, and proteins. The earlier you do it, the less picky eaters you end up with, and the easier it is to go out with your family.

Any final thoughts?
I’ve been a customer for many years and I’ve been reading the newsletter. It’s pretty cool that I get my turn to spend my time with you. See you Sunday!

LNB Q&A: Blaise And Atlas

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Blaise & Atlas
In what part of town do you live?
How long have you lived in Pinecrest?
Blaise: Six years
Atlas: And before that, Orlando.
Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Blaise: I’m eight years old. I’m in second grade. I go to Alexander Montessori school. I do dance and play with my family. I speak Spanish and French and I like smoothies. I love going on bike rides. I like my birthday. I was born in December. I’m a winter baby. I like gifts. I like vegetables. My favorite vegetables are carrots, celery, potatoes. I love to bake with my mommy, and my brother, and my daddy.
Atlas: I go to school. I’m 10 years old. I like to play soccer. I like to play with my family. I love playing with friends. I’m on a Lego robotics team at school. I like playing sports. I like coding on the computer. I also like art and drawing.
What’s your favorite subject at school?
Blaise: Reading and language arts.
Atlas: Does lunch and PE count? I also like art and math. Last year, I went to the math bowl and competed. I think I got second or third place.
What has it been like staying home instead of going to school?
Blaise: I get to spend more time with my family, but I miss all my friends.
Atlas: I like home learning. I think it’s easier because it takes less time. Usually, I’m kind of bored at school because they’re teaching stuff and it takes a long time. At home, I’m already doing fifth grade math, but I’m only in grade four. But I don’t like not seeing my friends.
Has it been harder or easier to stay at home?
Blaise: Harder. When I am on my computer, my parents are working in there and they’re always making so much noise with their keyboard all the time.
Atlas: The hardest part is I’m not able to see most of my family.
What should we do to make it easier for parents?
Blaise: Get us our own phones and iPads so we can Facetime whenever we want.
Are you using a lot of video to stay in touch with people?
Blaise: I have meetings with my principal and my teacher and my friends on Zoom and I can Skype with my teacher, my grandma, and my friends. I have been Facetiming with five friends.
Blaise, would you tell us about dance?
I dance at Pinecrest Dance Project. The teacher is super nice. Right now, they’re teaching us choreography for the show, but we don’t know if the show is still happening because of all the crazy stuff.
Atlas, would you tell us about Lego robotics?
We use a coding language for the robotics, but we don’t write scripts. There’s blocks and you do a mission. We use the Lego EV3, which is a robot that comes in a kit and you can attach it with Lego techniques to make a big robot. On your computer, you use the Lego Mindstorms app to download and create programs that make the robot do something. For competitions we go to different places, usually high schools or colleges. And we do a robot game, which is different every single year. It is a map with different challenges that you must accomplish. We compete with ages 8 to 14.
What do you like about it?
It’s fun. I make new friends. I learn how to program. It’s really exciting. I also do coding using a thing called Scratch. You get to make different actions, you can make a game or an animation like art. It’s pretty cool.
Atlas, what do you enjoy about playing soccer?
It’s a fast-moving game. Other games are kind of slow. I make a lot of new friends. I have fun working with my team to accomplish a goal. I also learned a lot of stuff about teamwork and responsibility, so you know what to bring to practice.
What advice do you give other kids who are learning how to play soccer?
Never give up. If your coach is telling you something, you should always acknowledge it and try to do what your coach said, because most of the time, they know what they’re doing.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Blaise: A Mommy because you can bring new life to this earth.
Atlas: I don’t know. I’m not sure.
How often do you go to the Pinecrest Farmer’s Market?
Blaise: Mostly every Sunday.
Atlas: Not very often. Usually, I’m playing soccer with my dad at the park, but sometimes I come. My mom usually gets two smoothies, one for Blaise and one for me.
What do you like about the market?
Blaise: It has smoothies.
What other things do you like when you go to the farmer’s market?
Blaise: Smoothies, donuts, and ice cream. And, I used to get the pickles. (A+W: We miss those pickles too)
Atlas: I like seeing all the cool and unique foods and I also like tasting samples. I also like talking to some of the experts. Last time, there were people there teaching about earth stuff and that was fun.
Do you have a favorite smoothie from our stand?
Blaise: The Rainbow. If I had to pick one flavor – Sapodelicious
Atlas: My favorite is Tropikale. It used to be Dragon Passion.
What would make our farmer’s market better?
Blaise: Bigger smoothie stands!
Atlas: A tent over the whole thing. Usually when we go, it’s pretty hot. I also think that the tents should be a little farther apart because they’re all back to back. Also, they need more hand washing stations at the market.
Do you have any favorite stories of anything that’s happened at the farmer’s market?
Blaise: We were getting out of the car and Atlas and I walked off without our mom…and we got lost in the farmer’s market. Luckily somebody found us and said ‘where’s your mom?’ We said, ‘we lost her.’ And then, she asked what color shirt my mom was wearing. My mom found us and that’s how we got to know one of the ladies at the market. She’s not there anymore – she was the one that had the bees and the candles.
Atlas: I had a smoothie and I had a really big brain freeze and it really hurt a lot. I went back to it after a little bit because it’s really good.
What’s your favorite thing to do with your parents?
Blaise: Spending time with them. Doing anything playing and not working on a computer. Frisbee, trampoline, and going in the pool (but mommy will never go in), card games, basketball, hula hooping with them, climbing a tree with them….and showing them how to climb a tree.
Atlas: I like playing with them. I like going out to dinner with them even though my mom hates my eating habits. I like helping my parents do stuff around the yard. I set the table every night for them. I like playing soccer and board games with them. I love watching a show called Lego masters, which is a competition of experts and they build these crazy Lego things.
What are your favorite restaurants to go out to?
Blaise: Fratelli Milano downtown. I like the gnocchi with meat sauce and for dessert the chocolate lava cake. Also, Chicken Kitchen. I like the Bazookah Bowl. And I like anywhere with a good meatball like Pioloas or Anthony’s Pizza.
Atlas: I like to go to a restaurant in Maryland called the Seafood Buffet. I go there for Thanksgiving. In Miami, I don’t go out to eat much. I really like my mom and dad’s home cooked meals. My favorites are their Shepard’s pie, tacos, and vegetable lasagna.
What’s a secret in Miami that everybody should know about?
Blaise: You should plant mangroves to protect your house. They protect you from hurricanes and tornadoes. And they protect the beaches from erosion.
Atlas: There’s a lot of smart people. Also, Daily Bread has curbside delivery right now, so you can call and order your fresh pita, hummus, and olives and pick it up outside the store.
What’s a good rainy-day activity?
Blaise: Playing card games
Atlas: Building Legos and playing games with my family. I also like to read. I’ve finished five books since Saturday.
What question would you like to ask us?
Blaise: Where do you get all that fruit?
(A+W) We get all of the fruit from our farm. We grow it.
Blaise: What fruit is the Sapodelicious made of?
(A+W) It’s a combination of Sapodilla, Mamey, and Passion fruit.
Atlas: What’s in the Tropikale smoothie?
(A+W) Kale, Sapodilla, Bananas, Ginger, and Passion fruit
Atlas: What’s in the red smoothie?
(A+W) BB Rose has Bananas, Beets and Roselle (aka Jamaican Sorrel)
Atlas: Why did you decide to be a farmer?
(A+W) Adena grew up on the farm. She’s been a farmer her whole life. I married a farmer.
Atlas: Why did you start making smoothies?
(A+W) Because we found that it was the easiest way to convince people to try new fruits. It’s much easier to try a Papa Jack smoothie than convince someone to try a large spiky jackfruit for the first time. 
Blaise: What does LNB mean?
(A+W) LNB is short for Adena’s last name: ELLENBY
Do you have any advice for the community?
Blaise: Always go to the smoothie stand.
Atlas: Bring your own bags.
What else is important to you that I haven’t asked you about?
Blaise: I think that people should take sicknesses seriously for the community and when something like this happens don’t go out and make sure to keep yourself as healthy as you can.
Do you think anything good will come of the current challenge we’re all facing?
Atlas: Yes. I think that the air pollution is going down, which is a good thing and I think it will teach people how badly we are polluting our air. We already decreased our air pollution by almost 10% just by staying at home and not driving or flying.

LNB Q&A: Seth

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In what part of town do you live?
We live in Boca Raton.

How long have you lived in the area?
I grew up in Boca Raton and I moved back in 2010.

Where were you living in between?
I was in Tallahassee, Florida, for college and business.

What type of business did you have in Tallahassee?
I was the owner of a live music venue called the Beta Bar, a real rock and roll roadhouse joint. We had local, regional, and national acts. Anyone from Modest Mouse to George Clinton P-Funk to the Whalers, and G-love.

How did you get into the entertainment business?
I was a drummer in a bunch of bands in Tallahassee and I knew the guy that ran the club and he said the owners were looking to get out and he was looking for a buyer. I scraped some money together and we made it happen.

How did you learn how to run a venue?
On the fly trial and error. Before Beta Bar, I used to book bands at Florida State for the student campus entertainment organization.

Is there a memory that stands out from your days at Beta Bar?
At a Dropkick Murphys show, one of our regulars, who was big in the local scene, got married to his high school sweetheart right before the band started playing. Right after they said I do, they both stage dove into the crowd.

What was the bar called before you bought it?
It was the Cow Haus.

What are you doing now?
Now, I’m the managing director and co-founder of a medical marketing agency. We do hyper-targeted data-driven marketing campaigns for medical practices and healthcare organizations.

What is similar between running a club and doing what you do now?
Passion. You’ve gotta be passionate about music and the experience. In marketing, you have to be passionate about the return on investment and providing service for our clients.

How has Boca changed from growing up to living there as an adult?
I never really liked Boca growing up. It was where my parents had me, so I didn’t really have much of a choice. I never thought that I would be living back here, let alone have a beautiful house and a beautiful wife and a really happy life here. Boca still skews to an older demographic, but there’s pockets of authentic fun to be had.

Where have you found authentic fun?
There’s a lot of quaint parks. Obviously the restaurants, in pre-covid terms, are fantastic. And, one of our favorite places is our backyard.

Why is that?
We have a gorgeous pool and a beautiful layout that our dogs can hang out with us and maybe get in if they feel so inclined. Also, we have a large collection of old close friends in very close walking distance. So it’s our own little community. We run this hood.

How did you meet Kate?
Great story. Great question. I was at a bachelor party for a very close friend of mine in Fort Myers, Florida. Kate lived in Indianapolis and was in Fort Myers on an annual girls trip weekend. I was standing outside of the bar and I looked in and I saw this girl and did a double take. Her hair and makeup were done. She was beautiful and had all her teeth. She didn’t look like a local from Fort Myers Beach. I went up to her and believe I said some charming and witty things. We saw each other again that weekend. And on my drive home, I called her and her girlfriend made her answer the phone. A couple of weeks later she came down to visit and she moved down here a little over a year later. It was Beshert (meant to be).

Last weekend you drove down from Boca to our Drive Through store. What was that like?
It took us 52 minutes. Of course these are covid times, so the traffic is much lighter. We didn’t know what to expect, but were very pleasantly surprised, not only just to see you both, but to see how you’ve successfully managed to pivot from your operation at the market. I love that you and Adena had a professional operation, but it still had an accessible and local positive vibe.

What did you get while you were there?
I love your Tumeric Concentrate. And, absolutely love the celery kombucha, which I didn’t think I would like when Kate picked it out. I was pleasantly surprised. And, we are coming back this Saturday morning for another bag of the Turmeric Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are out of this world!

What could we do to make the Drive Through experience better?
You could walk down the line of cars and take more orders. I’d say you need more people, but more people is more germs and more people touching stuff. So maybe not more people.

Have you found a good farmer’s market locally in Boca?
It’s so much different. Pinecrest Market is a destination for us because of the amount and variety of vendors. At Pinecrest, everything seems very authentic and local, which is what you would expect from a farmer’s market.

What businesses are you supporting during this time?
Local businesses. We’re ordering delivery and buying our groceries from restaurants that now are selling pantry items. We’re getting ready to do some renovations on our house, so instead of going to a big box store, we’re sourcing the materials from local guys that will appreciate it more. And then, we order delivery and takeout.

Any good places that we should know about?
Papa’s Rawbar, Farmer’s Table, Charm City Burgers, and Whales Rib.

Have you found any good things during this challenging time?
Absolutely. As a couple, we are learning how to co-exist and thrive in a higher stress environment. We go on so many more walks. We tuned up the bikes and we’ve ridden more in the past month than ever before and we’re spending a lot more time outside. We are engaging in a lot of projects around the house that we had put off. I think it’s minimized the noise that happens when you have access to everything. It feels like we’re kind of getting back to more honest living.

Why is supporting local businesses important to your during these times?
Life doesn’t seem like life without our local mom and pop establishments. It’s not just for our own selfish reasons, but the economy of our community, the employees at these companies, are people that live here and people that take care of us. It would be a very sad place if these places cease to exist.

What’s your areas best kept secret?
Snorkeling at Red Reef Park.

What’s a worthy splurge for you?
Le Sorelle. It’s a wacky Italian family restaurant, and the food is spectacular.

What’s a good rainy day activity?
Boca Museum of Art

What community or philanthropic groups are important to you that you might like to promote or share?
The Mark center for Jewish excellence. Also, JAFCO is a great organization. They are an organization that takes kids from like state run locations and places them in individual foster homes. Their training and credentialing is just top notch and they’re committed to providing a loving environment for kids. We’re looking to expand our family and wanted some options, so that’s how we got to know them.

Would you like to share a pitch about your company?
Pitching right now seems kind of tone deaf in terms of going after business or asking practices to spend marketing dollars. We’ve pivoted from charging marketing dollars, to partnering with doctors to push telemedicine. We’re helping increase the number of telemedicine patients that they can see. Once the climate changes, we’ll go back to providing hyper targeted marketing services.

What is hyper-targeted?
Hyper-targeted means that we create a patient persona based on a service line or procedure. The goal is to eliminate the top of the marketing funnel which is awareness and education. All of our engagement goes directly to people who have already in some way raised their hand figuratively and said, ‘I am a good candidate for this.’

Is there a question that you would like to ask us?
(ST) What do you think your biggest challenge has been from going from Pinecrest Market to your drive through store at your commercial kitchen?

(A+W) The hardest part is getting the word out. Many of our customers don’t get our newsletter or follow us on Instagram. We are getting calls from people reading the label on their Turmeric Concentrate wondering if they can still get another bottle. The challenge has also become a blessing. Since we are working out of our own space, we’ve been able to experiment with new products like Turmeric Chocolate Chip Cookies.

(ST) Why do you feel that you guys decided to open the store versus just ride it out?

(A+W) To miss the market feels so wrong. In the past, when a market was canceled due to a hurricane or weather, we hosted a popup market at our house in Palmetto Bay. This time, when we had the drive through market at our house, it got the attention of the Palmetto Bay police. So, opening the store was a necessity. It wasn’t even a decision, we had to find a way to continue.

What advice or a challenge might you like to pose to the community?
It’s easy to get frustrated, but it takes work to understand that we’re not doing it alone, that we are all going through it. Be there to help your friend, your neighbor, whatever you can do safely. Be aware that there are people suffering that need help. Try to be as kind as you can be and you’re gonna feel better.

Any final thoughts?
Take a step back and look at the community that you and Adena created, and now people are coming to your new store. Everybody came and lined up. You’re nurturing it and stoking the flame. It’s really impressive and amazing.

LNB Q&A: Georgette

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In what part of town do you live?

How long have you lived the area?
Two and a half years

What brought you to town?
I have been working in Miami, telecommuting, since 2016.  We lived in Puerto Rico and then Hurricane Maria hit in 2017. Initially, we moved to a friend’s house in North Carolina. When we saw things were not getting better, we decided to move to Miami.   

Would you tell us little bit about yourself?
I’m a psychiatrist for adults, children and adolescents. I work in Coral Gables. I’ve been working there for about four years. Before that, I worked a practice in Puerto Rico, even though most of my training has been here in the US. I have two kids, ages five and seven. They love your smoothies. I live with my husband here in Kendall.

How have you adapted your practice to accommodate for the current challenges?
In part, it was easy to adjust because we were already set up to do telemedicine. We see a lot of international clients and kids that had been seeing us and then left for college. On the other hand, there are less people seeking appointments because everybody’s financial situation is different, and a lot of people have been very impacted.

What makes telemedicine successful?
The main things are the basics, right? A good internet connection helps significantly because the last thing you want is to seem pixelated or breaking off a little bit. The other thing is being able to connect over the Internet. It’s a little bit harder than in person for obvious reasons. I think with the new normal, people are just used to it now. This is how medicine is being carried out now and I think that makes people more comfortable with the medium.

Do you think more people will continue with telemedicine once businesses reopen?
I think people will still want that in-person interaction. But a lot of people will think practicality, ‘If I’m at work, maybe I wouldn’t make my in-person 5:30 appointment, but if I do it over telemedicine, I can definitely make it.’ Or when life is a little bit more complicated, people might rather do a telemedicine appointment. I think that knowing it’s an option is going to shift the normal.  

Have you found any benefits within the new normal?
I know it’s a very hard situation for a lot of people.  If you’re not sick and if your financial needs are being met, I think one silver lining is the ability to connect with family and spend more time to get to know your kids a little bit better. I’ve learned so many things about my kids during this time. I was just talking about this with my husband last night. I have more time to learn about their interests, hear their stories, and playing with them has been a blessing. And, I’ve gotten to spend more time with my husband and have more conversations. I think it’s made our relationship even deeper. We are really forced to slow down and kind of take it day by day.

How often do you come to the Pinecrest Market?
Every other week

Would you tell us a little bit about your Market ritual?
We love the smoothies, so we need to stop at your place. There’s no way around that. We go there first then we might go to Frice for some ice cream. Usually we stop by the cheese place. And then one of the sprout places. My kids really love sprouts. Just by going to the farmers market and trying things out, they’ve gone from picky eaters to eating a lot of veggies. They’re a lot more adventurous at the market than they would ever be at home. Sometimes we stop at the popcorn place and then we usually get a dog treat.

You have visited our new drive through a couple times, would you share about that experience?
It’s close to where we live. The first time it was funny because we told the kids we had a surprise for them and that they had to be very patient, because the line was very long and they had no idea what they were getting until we were three cars out from the table and they saw you and then they kind of put it together and got really happy. This time, on Saturday, there were only three cars, so they didn’t have to wait much at all. I think it just makes them feel somehow like their world is still normal. It’s such a big ritual for us to go to the farmers market, so it’s been nice for them. We will be visiting you more and more.

Did you try any of the other products we had this week, the kombucha or ice cream?
We tried the Frice ice cream, the Pineapple basil one was fantastic. I even wrote her on Instagram because it’s just so good. Last week we got the turmeric concentrate, which I had a little bit of earlier today. I made myself a golden milk, which was delicious.

What are you doing to keep busy with your kids?
We go on daily walks with our dog. The kids are used it now, so every afternoon they ask for it and get excited.  We also bought a lot of board games. And sometimes, we bake together.

What restaurants are you ordering from these days or other favorites that you look forward to going again?
Right now, the only place we’re ordering from is Local Pie for pizza. It’s delicious and we get to freeze it as well. I’ve been cooking a lot at home. In terms of restaurants before this situation, we used to go to Tacos and Tatoos a lot with the kids and Mi’talia in South Miami. Also, I love Pub Belly.

What’s Miami’s Best Kept Secret?
I don’t think it’s a secret, but I love Brewing Buddha in Pinecrest. They have the best matcha latte and it’s just cozy. The staff is really nice and cool. If I have a little bit of free time in my day, I’ll go there.

What is a worthy splurge for you?
A trip. I’m am not a big spender, but I will have no problem spending for a good restaurant or a good trip.

What community or philanthropic groups are important to you that you might like to share?
It’s not necessarily a local charity, but it’s important for me for several reasons. World Central Kitchen, founded by Jose Andres, provides food for people in the midst of natural disasters. With coronavirus they’re providing food everywhere including here in Miami. They were crucial when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. The people in Puerto Rico were so grateful for him for being there.

Would you like to share a pitch about your business?
Sure. We are a mental health practice. We have various therapists, and we have three psychiatrists on staff. All of us practice integrative medicine and we’re all being trained now for functional medicine. We see kids from the age of three to adults.

What is integrative medicine?
Integrative medicine or psychology is looking beyond a certain disorder. Instead of giving you a certain medication and that being the end of it, it’s looking at the person holistically, what is causing the situation or making it worse. How is your nutrition affecting your mental health and sleep? How is your sleep affecting your mental health? What does your genetic makeup tell us about your susceptibility to certain illnesses or conditions?

Is there a question that you would like to ask us?
Before this, were you going to any other farmers markets besides Pinecrest?

(A+W) We have done the Coral Gables market in the past, and from time to time will pop up at the Arsht Center on Monday nights. Now, that we have the store going we’re excited to see how we can grow by adding products like our turmeric chocolate chip cookies and turmeric hummus.   

LNB Q&A: Raymond

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In what part of town do you live?

How long have you lived in the area?
About three and a half years. Before that, in West Miami for about 10 years. My family’s from Venezuela, but I’ve lived most of my life in Miami.

Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am married with one 13 year old son and one on the way – due at the end of May. I own a digital agency that creates digital products, whether they be mobile applications, software, websites, e-commerce…any sort of digital platform. I went to Belen Jesuit High School in Miami and then Barry University. I’ve been doing what I’m doing for about 15 years now. I love Miami, love Pinecrest, love hiking, and the outdoors.

How did you get into the digital space?
I studied information tech management and worked in that space for a few years. At some point, a friend of mine who owned an IT and a marketing business, asked if I wanted to come work with him. I was 25 at the time and did not love being behind the computer all day long, and not talking to people. So, I saw it as an opportunity and I started working with him and fell in love with the marketing side of things. At some point he decided to just run with the IT part of the business and I made an agreement to buy the marketing side.

Where do you do the development?
We were having a hard time hiring developers so we opened an office in Colombia. We’re a small business and good developers command a lot of money and we didn’t have those resources. We started with one developer there and that grew to two and three and then eleven. We opened an office as well in Chicago. And then, we have our office here in Miami.

Funny enough, just before the craziness of the pandemic started, we were planning on making the offices fully remote. People really liked the idea of working home and the technology these days allows for it. Luckily for us, it just kind of worked out.

Are clients already approaching you for solutions to adapt to this new normal?
Yes. The Perez Art Museum is a client, and obviously they are currently closed. We maintain their web presence. We had a conversation with them yesterday about creating a web series with new media artists, specifically in the film category. 

Have you found any good things come from all the current difficulty?
Yes. I meditate pretty much every day. I’ve found it very helpful over the past year as a small business owner dealing with stress and the stresses that come with life. I use an app called ‘Waking up‘ by Sam Harris. I’ve developed a gratefulness practice where I write down things that I am grateful for. I’ve written down a few: Quality time with my family, especially my son who’s a teenager right now. Spending a lot more time with him, being able to cook with him is something that he had never done with us before. I’ve been able to meet some of my neighbors that I had never met before, there’s a lot more sense of community. And, I’ve been able to sleep more since I don’t have to commute to the office or get up early to go to they gym.

What’s it like planning to be a new father again?
That’s an interesting question because as I mentioned regarding meditation, I’ve tried to be a little bit more present in my thoughts and not think too far forward. But, it is starting to get closer. We had to close off a family room and put a door and wall in there to start prepping for the baby’s room. I’m just starting to think of all the things that we’re going to experience all over again.  

How often do you come to the Pinecrest Market?
I tried to go almost every Sunday. Usually, I would ride my bike over there alone and really enjoyed that time. I’m an only child, and my time alone is scarce these days. That little bit of time was really nice.

You’ve been to all of our popups since the Pinecrest market was canceled. You came to our popup at our house as well as our new store. Would you share a little bit about that experience?
I think it’s been great. At the beginning it was cool to try and find out where it was going to happen and get the text message. It was very smooth. You guys have been doing an awesome job. You’re making sure to use digital payments and making it super safe for everybody. When it was at your house, it was literally a two minute drive from our house. But now, even though your store is a little bit further, it’s a kind of adventure for us. We’re going to go get our smoothies, we get in the car and take a little bit of time outside of the house. Love it so far!

What local restaurants are you supporting during these times?
We’ve gone to the Last Carrot a few times in the Grove. We order from Mi Italia. We’ve ordered from A Pizza Brooklyn. Of course, you guys. One of my favorite coffee places was a Brewing Buddha, but unfortunately they closed and don’t even have takeout. We’ve gone to Wayside Market a few times. We’ve gone to Lokal to order and truthfully to walk around the Grove with a beer in hand. They have a window where you can can get a draft beer and burgers for takeout. Last week we went by and walked around the Grove, which is a bit apocalyptic with nobody around on a Sunday afternoon. There is Mojito Grill in South Miami. And, we’ve been getting ice cream delivered from Azucar through their Instagram page.

(A+W) Have you tried the new ice cream at our market – called Frice Cream?

(RB) No. I have not.

(A+W) You are in for a treat. They make some of our favorite ice cream ever and starting this week we will have their pints for sale at our drive through store. They make chef driven flavors using our fruit, and make everything from scratch, even the add-ins. Serendipitously, their last name is Frice.

What’s Miami’s best kept secret?
Something that we would do every Friday at the office was go Sparky’s barbecue in downtown. They have a great selection of beers, the food is superb, and they have good music. That’s something I really, truly miss throughout this whole thing.

What is a worthy splurge for you?
I know it’s probably a cliche, but I really enjoy Hillstone’s. The food is always so good. It’s a little bit expensive and it’s a franchise, so it’s a tough one. But if I, if I had to go with one choice, I’d probably have to say that.

What’s a good rainy day activity?
I love sitting in my porch in the backyard and just hearing the rain in the trees.

What community events or philanthropic groups are important to you would like to promote or share?
I’m on the board of the Sebastian Strong foundation. Sebastian was a kid that passed away from cancer about three years ago. The organization was started by his parents and they are making an effort to raise funds for new treatments for pediatric cancer.  

Would you like to share a quick pitch about your company?
Sure. Our agency name is Branger Briz. We develop digital products for startups and multinational corporations alike. We can make mobile applications, custom enterprise software solutions, e-commerce sites, as well as interactive installations. On our website, we can see a little bit about us and some of our portfolio and the type of work we do.

Is there a challenge that you would like to pose to the community?
What idea can we think of using technology that can help people dealing with stress and any sort of mental illness. That’s something that I’m always thinking about. There’s a lot of negatives of technology, obviously too much screen time, but how can technology be used in a positive way to help?

What have I not asked that I should have?
You’ve covered a lot. I love the questions. I just think it’s great for the community and really appreciate everything you guys are doing.

(A+W) Thank you so much. See you at the drive through!

LNB Q&A: Patricio

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In what part of town do you live?
I live in Pinecrest.
How long have you lived in Pinecrest?
For a year. I’m actually a student, or I was a student. I grew up in California for the most part. I went to Belen Jesuit and then ended up moving to California for my dad’s job.
Where are you originally from?
I was born in Mexico and moved here when I was around two.
And now you’re in school or just finished?
I just graduated from UM. I was in the business school for entrepreneurship.
Do you have ideas of businesses you want to start?
I have a few ideas but nothing concrete, nothing to share yet.
What did you enjoy about business school?
Just being in Miami…it was a great experience to meet people from different cultures and then learning the fundamentals of running a business and working for a business.
What did you learn that really surprised you?
I learned that consulting companies need young people just as much as young people need older generations. Young people are good for ideas, and for being innovative and just adapting. And we need the older generation because they have experience. You need someone as a mentor to share different ways of learning and things that they’ve already gone through.
Did you have a favorite class at school?
I liked all my marketing classes. The teachers were great because they gave us actual projects to work on, with real clients, like actual consulting jobs.
What was an example of something you worked on?
I did the redesign of a logo for Diamonds International and a couple other companies. We had to create a 360 campaign pitch. That’s defining the marketing that you need to do for the year and how to actually complete it.
What advice would you give us?
I like your logo so I wouldn’t touch that. Your newsletters are great and you reach out to the local community. Maybe more on Instagram? You guys do a lot of good things for the community already.
Tell us a little bit about yourself outside school.
I’m a golfer. I’ve been a golfer my whole life. I’m trying to become a pro golfer. I’m dedicating my time to golf and looking for jobs now that I graduated.
What do you enjoy about golf?
Everything that makes golf, golf. You play with either people you know or don’t know. Sometimes, you get paired up with random people for four and a half hours and basically get to know their whole personality. Usually how a player reacts to certain situations on the course is how they’re going to be when they face problems or certain situations in real life.
Did any lessons you learned in golf influence the way you learned at school?
Yes. Repetition makes consistency. Even if you’re not the best at something, if you practice hard enough at it, you’ll eventually get it …like calculus. I was struggling with calculus for a bit, but I made it through. I just went to the library and took the time. A lot of time.
What’s the strongest part of your golf game?
My putting and my mental game overall.
What does it take to be a good putter?
Being able to stand over the ball and not choke. That takes a lot of mental focus.
What goes through your mind when you’re on a putting green?
Nothing. Just make it.
Do you have a favorite golfer?
I like Tiger. I grew up watching Tiger and then Rory of course.
Who are you most like?
Personality wise, Tiger. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. My golf game is more like Rory.
What advice would you give somebody who really enjoys golf and they’re looking to make their game better?
It’s a tough journey, but consistency is key. Just like in life, you go through a lot of up and downs, but people who stay consistent will eventually make it through.
How often do you come to the Pinecrest market?
Pretty much every week. Though last week, we came to the drive through. It was a great experience. It was nice that even during this crisis you guys were still looking out for the community and still supplying your products.
(A+W) And, you came twice!
Yeah, it’s awesome. We like the smoothies and the turmeric shots.
Tell us a little bit about your market ritual. When you do come to the market, what do you do?
We go straight to you guys and we get a smoothie and then we just take a lap and then sit at a table or go home.
What do you like about the products at our stand?
We always get the rainbow smoothies which are great. I like that you guys sometimes change the actual fruit. Also the turmeric shots. They make me feel good.
Do you take the shots straight or mix them?
Straight. But, I’ve thought that it probably tastes good with milk. I’ve got to try that.
What would make the market better?
Since it has expanded over the last two years, it’s gotten a lot better than what it used to be.
What restaurants do you like to go out to?
I don’t really go out to restaurants. Maybe Whole Foods and Nahuen in Doral.
What’s Miami’s best kept secret?
A lot of people say it’s the pan con lechon at Mary’s Coin Laundry, but I think La Esquina Del Lechon in Doral is better. Mary’s is good because you can get it at any time because they’re always open.
What is a worthy splurge for you?
Golf clothes or stuff for my dogs.
What’s a good rainy-day activity?
Where’s the most romantic spot in Miami?
The beaches on Key Biscayne
What community groups are important to you that you might like to promote or share?
There are a few Dachshund meetups around Miami, but most are now canceled because of the corona virus. I have a Dachshund and follow an account called Dachshunds of Miami. They have weekly events for dog meetups and it’s cool.
Is there a pitch about yourself that you might like to share?
Sure. I’m looking for any opportunity, either in the marketing world or in the business world. I’m a hard worker. I’m very capable. I’ve done a lot of creative work and consulting for different companies.
Is there a question you’d like to ask?
Are you going to have a drive through again this weekend?
(A+W) Yes! We will have another drive through pop-up on Sunday. And, possibly again next Wednesday as well.
Is there a question or a challenge you’d like to pose to the community?
Stop going outside and stay home during the Corona virus outbreak.

LNB Q&A: Tiffany

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In what part of town do you live?
Biscayne Park
How long have you lived in the area?
In Biscayne park for a year, before that I lived in Buena Vista for six years. I’m originally from Miami Beach. I grew up on one of the Venetian Islands and then, as a tween, I moved to Pinecrest.
Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Farming is my second career. I went to UF for photography and then moved to Germany and lived there for 10 years. I worked for a contemporary art gallery. And then, I moved back to Miami because my father was ill. I was supposed to be here for just the winter, and that was eight years ago. Miami got me.
Would you share about the farming part of your life?
When I first moved back to Miami, I was waiting tables and was interested in agriculture. I drove around the country for a year, volunteering on farms, and figuring out whether it was something I wanted to take more seriously than a hobby. When I got back to Miami, I was very inspired by the tropical fruits that were dangling in everyone’s yards. When I met Muriel, my business partner, I wanted to start an edible plant nursery and she already had a small organic farm. We merged and diversified. We’ve had a lot of different iterations of the business over the six years that we’ve been together. Currently we have a 15,000 square foot lot in Allapatta where we have an edible plant nursery and a little urban farm.
What got you interested in agriculture?
When I lived in Germany, I was really interested in macrobiotic eating. Germany is a little behind in a few things. So, I got super into cooking for myself and I made everything from scratch, like my own tempeh and my own seitan. I got really into it. That led me to think, ‘where is all this food coming from? Does it matter who produced it and how it was produced?’ I’m a bit of a reader, so I started reading food ethics books, like Michael Pollan and Dan Barber. And then started gardening and it sucked me in.
What do you enjoy most about it?
I’m always learning new things. Sometimes, that’s a pain in the butt, but it’s always inspiring. For example, last year we had an outbreak of this pest, in our nursery, called a fungus gnat. I had to learn all about fungus gnats and their life cycle. I had to even learn about a new organic pesticide I had never heard of before and how to apply it and how to break their life cycle. At the same time, I was losing plants and it caused some stress. I’m always amazed at how much I don’t know. Chris and I are both so passionate about farming and the small tools movement, like open source tractors. Even when we come home from a full day of farming, we can’t wait to share with each other what we learned from a farming podcast, or about a small tool, or some new crop. It’s really fun.
What is the small tool movement?
That’s Chris’s department. It’s a really interesting movement that’s happening within the one to two-acre farming world where the participants have said this doesn’t have to be really inefficient. We can band together and make these tools and share resources and make it so that smaller scale farms can still have a quality of life and generate profit.
What are the farming podcasts you both listen to?
Farmer to Farmer and Thriving Farmer
What’s five years down the road?
In five years, I’d love to be growing more food for people. Miami has nowhere near enough regenerative farming practices making fresh food for people. There’s such a need in the community and I really want to fill it.
How is your first career in photography and working at a gallery in Germany helping your second career? And now we understand why your Instagram pictures are so great!
It’s funny, Muriel and I take turns doing the Instagram and people say that it’s hard to tell who’s posting. That’s something I’m proud of. It means that were good at expressing a shared vision. I’m definitely still using a lot I learned at school. I designed our website, so there’s a little bit of graphic design. And when I managed the contemporary art gallery in Berlin, I was running someone else’s small business. So, I took all that I learned from that experience and am now using that to run my small business.
Would you tell us a little bit about the farmer’s market that you go to?
We go to the Legion Park farmer’s market. It’s on Biscayne Boulevard and 66th street in the Upper East Side part of Miami, which is a historic art deco area that’s experiencing a bit of a boom. We’ve been going there since the very beginning, about seven years. We really love it because we live in that community too. We have customers that have been with us this whole time and we’re feeding our friends and our neighbors and everyone’s really supportive. The market is run by Urban Oasis project and they work hard to support the vendors and to make sure that the market is popular. It’s in a beautiful park, it has free yoga. They do special events where they invite musicians to play. Urban Oasis project are very supportive and they’re really responsible resellers of produce. They only buy local produce and they try to support all the small farms. Even when we’re not going to the market because we don’t have enough produce to make it worth it, we still sell stuff through Urban Oasis.
What did you enjoy while you were visiting us at the Pinecrest Market?
I wish I went to your market more, but it’s so far away. I had your guacamole, we took it on our canoe trip. That was really delicious. I’ve had the rainbow smoothie and that’s also really cool. I’m very impressed by the way that you guys found this creative way to use all of your local ingredients and add value in the form of a smoothie. There’s a lot of passive education in selling some of our produce and it is nice to get someone used to the idea of eating jackfruit without having to say ‘it tastes like this’ and….’don’t be scared’. You’re getting past that first hurdle.
What restaurants are you all enjoying right now?
Mandolin is a great one. They opened a new ‘diner concept’ on Biscayne Boulevard in a historic hotel called Gregory’s. And it has a poolside bar, which is very fun to hang out at. We go to 27 Restaurant as often as we can. On the modest side, we eat at B and M a lot for lunch. It’s a tiny restaurant in the back of a convenience store in little Haiti. It’s really, really good. And – Dumpling King is great – it’s on 125 street in North Miami,
What is something that you’re cooking at home on a regular basis?
Chris has a tradition of something we call ‘hot salad.’ We take any of the hardier greens that we have, basically anything but lettuce, and chop it up and add it to a sofrito, an onion pepper base, and sauté and wilt it. We eat that almost every day. Also, there is a fish dealer up by our house called Blue Runner and Chris will stop there on the way home and get whatever’s fresh and we’ll grill it really simple.
What’s Miami’s best kept secret?
Virginia Key beach, for some reason there are never any humans there.
What’s a good rainy-day activity?
My favorite rainy-day activity is staying home and cleaning with the windows open. And, getting all cozy at home, but always with the windows open, because I like to listen.
What is a worthy splurge?
Dining out for sure. And good work boots. I’m a Blundstone woman. Once a year, I buy $200 boots and feel like that’s really worth it. Chris is a Redback man, which is the other option for people. Muriel and I are both solidly Blundstone.
What community groups are important to you that we should we know about?
Up here in our area, there’s this cool new house being turned into a community center. It’s called Finca Morada. They do a lot of cool community programming, like queer and trans friendly women’s circles. They do community work days once a month where volunteers help transform their half-acre into a permaculture food forest. I go to yoga there every Thursday, it’s a donation, sliding scale, yoga.
And, Buenezas, which means weeds is a very cool not for profit that functions out of Earth and Us. They received a Knight foundation grant to do a series of community workshops using and cooking with weeds.
And, everything that Urban Oasis project does is cool. They do a farmer dinner series throughout the season that highlights a different local farmer and they have a chef come and make dishes around that farmer’s specialties.
How can we learn more about your business?
Go to our website, LittleRiverCooperative.com or check us out on Instagram. The best thing to do is to just show up here when we’re open Mondays and Fridays from noon till five. 771 NW 24th St in Allapatta. Open the gate and even if you’re like ‘I don’t really need plants, but can I look around’, we would love to have you. This time of year is perfect to come visit because we have a big exhibition garden where we harvest for the market and for chefs. We end our season in May.
Is there a challenge that you would like to pose to the community?
I would like to challenge people, in a fun way, to really open up and be a little more exploratory about new foods. We happen to live in the tropics, which is very rare for this country and we can grow different stuff. I really love it when people push their food boundaries. And, if someone has a garden at home, don’t just grow beefsteak tomatoes and cilantro. Open yourself up to the possibilities of really unique stuff like weird tropical fruit or spices from other countries. And then, I would challenge people to waste less food. At the end of the season, turn your nasturtium plant into nasturtium vinegar.
What have I not asked you that’s important to you?
You haven’t asked anything about Sawyer, the farm dog. Sawyer is a really important part of our farming system. He’s a 20 pound wire-haired terrier and he works at French farms and Little River Co-op and is our employee of the year for being a really good guy. I often stay here by myself, and so I really like having a little security guard with me. And he’s a really friendly icebreaker for our customers and our younger visitors. He’s like a tour guide.
Last week Chris suggested one question for you – ‘Ask if she’s really sure that she doesn’t want to live in Homestead?’
I mean honestly, I go back and forth because Homestead is Miami’s agricultural district. It’s clearly where we should move if we want to feed more people. But I struggle with feeling like I’ll be fulfilled in non-farm ways there. I feel like I’ll lose connection with my friends and family that live here.